"Catlin Gabel has Changed Me"

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Remarks on financial aid by student Anthony Lin '09
From the Spring 2009 Caller

Anthony Lin ’09 presented the following remarks at this year’s Gambol auction in April. His speech led off the special appeal, which focused on financial aid. When he finished his speech, Anthony was floored to see the 360-member audience on their feet, giving him a rousing standing ovation.

“Good evening, everyone. My name is Anthony Lin, and I’m a senior at Catlin Gabel. I want to thank you all for making it out here tonight to celebrate the Gambol with us. As you know, the Gambol supports financial aid at Catlin: making it possible for all students, regardless of their economic background, to receive a top-notch education. My story, like the stories of many others who have received financial assistance at Catlin Gabel, is a testament to the power of philanthropy and the impact an event like this can have on a student’s life.

“Seven years ago I came into Catlin Gabel as a sixth grader, shy and unsure of myself. Transferring from a large elementary school in Beaverton, I knew no one at Catlin Gabel and had a difficult time acclimating to my surroundings. However, the school’s supportive and nurturing environment allowed me to find my place within the community.

“It’s undeniable how great an education one can receive at Catlin Gabel, but the school provides so much more than that. Not only have its programs taught me to think critically, speak confidently, and write proficiently, but they have ensured that I made similar progress on a social level. The teachers, the students, everyone here placed a vested interest in seeing me succeed, not only pushing me to become the best student I could, but encouraging me to carry myself with integrity, to give back to the community—pushing me to become the best person I could. Who would’ve known that this child, seven years later, had the potential to become Catlin Gabel’s student body president, voicing the needs of the students or choosing between colleges like Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, and Duke?

“Without a Catlin Gabel education, my life would have looked drastically different. The growth each student experiences here is indescribable. In fact, without the financial assistance that allowed me to receive such an enriching education, I’d probably still be the same shy child I was seven years ago, stuttering my way through this speech.

“But today I can tell you with all sincerity that Catlin Gabel has changed me. It’s given me the opportunity and support to redefine myself in ways I never thought possible. Catlin Gabel equips its students with everything we need to face the future. The academic rigor ensures that we’ll be prepared for the work ahead, the cultivated self-esteem makes certain that we’ll appreciate and value the work we produce, and the fostered sense of community guarantees that we’ll continue onwards to be an intricate part of whatever niche we find in this world.

“It is in sadness that I live out my last two months here at Catlin Gabel, but with great joy and confidence that the school has prepared me for the years ahead. And such is the sentiment that’s felt by all those who have gone through Catlin Gabel: a sense of accomplishment and completion, a sense that here a transformation took place in each of us, and a sense that from here we’ll move forward to change the world around us.

“So on behalf of all students here at Catlin Gabel, I thank you for your continued support of the Gambol. I thank you for always looking out for this community. And I thank you for what you do to give each and every student the opportunity to reach his or her fullest potential. Your generosity is truly what makes this place a dream come true for students. So thank you, and I wish you all a wonderful evening.”

Thanks to Anthony’s inspirational story and charisma, the special appeal at the Gambol raised over $120,000 for financial aid. His message about the power of philanthropy is especially poignant right now. Every year students such as Anthony come into our school and leave their mark on everyone they encounter. This can only continue to happen at Catlin Gabel through the generosity of the entire community.